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Local officials, educators “jailhouse rocking” for textbooks

Published 4:31pm Wednesday, June 27, 2012

All too often these days, it seems there are recurring stories about elected officials and those in charge of education being sent to jail for various reasons.

Some of Chilton County’s most esteemed residents will also be sentenced to hard time, albeit for very different reasons.

In an effort to help raise money for textbooks throughout the county, the Thorsby Parental Involvement Team has started a book drive, with the key event being a “jailhouse” booth at the Peach Jam.

The booth will hold in contempt several figures from around the county, such as Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver, Maplesville Principal Maggie Hicks and Isabella Principal Ricky Porter among others. Rep. Kurt Wallace and Sen. Cam Ward will also participate in the event.

Each participant must raise a “bail” of  $300 in order to be released from the jail, but donations to keep the person in jail longer would also be accepted.

“Everyone has been great,” said Pam Price, of the Thorsby PIT. “Mike [Robertson] of the Chamber of Commerce has been [helpful]. Our community is great about supporting things.”

Price said in order to comply with new implementations by the State Board of Education, an increase in funding was necessary.

“Years ago the state had $80 per child per textbook in this county,” she said. “Last year the state gave about $18 per child for textbooks, and this year we were up to $35.17 per child. This will hardly purchase one textbook, and with the state making us adopt a new math curriculum, we do not have enough money for textbooks.”

The fundraising drive, which will last until July 15, allows donors the option of giving to either a specific school, or donating to a general fund that will be spilt evenly.

The goal of the entire drive is to raise $18,000. While it is unlikely that they will meet their goal at the Peach Jam, Price said she hoped the county could get together to help provide for students.

“Let’s come together as we always do in this county and help our children get the books they need to learn,” she said.

For more information, contact Price at 688-4266.

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